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Academics: Ministry Leadership Minor with an emphasis in Community Development

At Calvin College, we believe that God calls us to serve Him throughout the world, not only in the church.  In fact, we believe that we are called to be citizens of God’s kingdom in the world, using our gifts, skills, and passions to reflect God’s grace, mercy, and righteousness.  Community development is a form of ministry which seeks to glorify God and respond faithfully to the inbreaking of His kingdom.   

Christian community development considers all the ways in which a local Christian community – whether a church, parachurch organization, Christian non-profit, or the like – can best understand, share, and seek faithful responses to the more pressing needs of society and, more specifically, a local neighborhood.


Requirements for Ministry Leadership Minor: Community Development

1.CMS 151—Church and Society (3 hours), or approved interim

2. One additional 200 level Religion course beyond core, in Bible or Theology(3 hours). If students have taken Biblical Foundations II as their second Religion core course, then they should take one course from REL 230-235 to fulfill this requirement. If students have taken Theological Foundations II as their second Religion core course, then they should take one course from 211-224 to fulfill this requirement.

3. Cluster of courses with an emphasis in COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (9 hours)

  • CMS 375 Ministry, Leadership, and Community Development (3)
    A study of both the theology and methods used by church and parachurch organizations in local community development…. 
  • REL 295 Christianity and Culture (3)
    This course is a critical survey of models by which God’s people have defined their relationship to the world, from Biblical times to the present, with a particular emphasis on the Reformed tradition…. 
  • and either SOC 302 Urban Sociology (3)
    This course is an introduction to the purposes, problems, and prospects of cities in the US and in other parts of the world….
  • or  IDS 355 Community Development (3)
    A study of the theories, problems and methods associated with international development work at the community level…

4. 3 credit hours from a complementary area of interest :

Students will choose a course they did not count toward the requirements listed in number 3 from the following:

  • CMS 251-- Theological Reflections on Ministry Practices (1 hour), which may be taken up to three times
  • CMS 374 -- Youth and Family Ministry (2 hours)
  • CMS 378 -- A Christian Calling: Proclaiming Jubilee as a Christian Leader (3 hours)
  • REL 237 -- Christian Worship (3 hours)
  • REL 252 -- Introduction to Missions (3 hours)
  • MUSC 236 -- Music in Worship (3 hours)

5. CMS 381 Ministry Studies Internship (3 hours), with specialized placements in the area of student interests/emphasis

KEY FACULTY PERSON: Professor Todd Cioffi
Other key faculty: Roland Hoksbergen (Economics), Jeff Bouman (Service-Learning Center)